Larsson permanent move 'extremely unlikely'

January 28, 2007

Manchester United chief executive David Gill insists it remains 'extremely unlikely' that Henrik Larsson's loan move to Old Trafford will ever be extended to become a permanent deal.

The 35-year-old striker has impressed boss Sir Alex Ferguson since arriving on a three-month loan deal from Swedish club Helsingborgs earlier this month.

But while United are keen to hold onto Larsson for the remainder of this Barclays Premiership campaign, they are not seeking to persuade him into a permanent switch.

Gill told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek: 'Henrik played for Barcelona and went back to Helsingborgs for family and other reasons, so I would have thought that is extremely unlikely.'

But he did not rule out the possibility of talks with the Swedish club to extend the current arrangement which is due to run out on March 12.

Gill added: 'He is due to go back in the middle of March and we haven't really discussed that yet as we are focusing on the next few weeks and we will see what happens.

'I think it is a bit early. You can never say never and we will go through that nearer the time with Henrik and the club.

'I know for a fact Alex, Carlos and all the players are very impressed with him in terms of what he can do, his attitude and how he has fitted in and we want great players at the club.'

Meanwhile Gill has rubbished reports of Real Madrid's revived interest in Ronaldo, maintaining that the Portuguese star will not be leaving Old Trafford at any price.

Asked how United would react if they received an offer in the region of the mooted £35million, Gill said: 'It would be turned down straight away.

'One benefit of being a private club as opposed to one on the stock exchange is that we can take a long-term view and we invest in our assets.

'As Arsene Wenger has said on many occasions, clubs aren't banks, we are there to put on entertainment and play a top-class team and there is no point having £35m or £45m if you can't replace that talent. At 21 Ronaldo has had a great season and we believe the best is yet to come.'